Monday, June 22, 2009


Five kids and I have never started scrapbooking! I resisted the temptation right from the very beginning. While all my girlfriends were having scrapbooking parties, I passed. My reason: I knew I was going to have a big family, and I knew I wouldn't have time to keep it up after the 4th or 5th (or 6th or 7th?). I imagined my grandkids looking through my attic someday wondering why I only had scrapbook albums for Uncle Simeon and Aunt Liesel. :) Instead all my photos are in piles of photo albums in the attic, and now taking up space on my computer!

So we are halfway through our foster parenting classes. Last week a couple talked about their two sons who had spent their whole life in foster care before they adopted them. They said that when they came into their care at ages 4 and 5, they had FIVE....TOTAL pictures of their entire childhood. Five pictures! I was heartbroken for them. What kind of foster homes must they have lived in to not at least take more than 5 pictures of them???

So this gave me an idea. Since we are going to be doing emergency foster care, we will most likely be the first placement for kids coming through. I got to thinking it would be really nice to have a scrapbook-type album to give as a gift to every child that enters our home and start it while they are here with us, hoping to encourage future foster families to fill the scrapbook up with photos and childhood memories.

So are there are any scrapbookers out there reading this that might be of help? What would be a very (I mean very) simple way to do this project? Inexpensive would be nice too. I wonder if there are scrapbooking companies that would donate albums to kids in foster care. OOOOh, that would be great.

While I'm on the subject of scrapbooking, here are a couple of things I've done taking advantage of all the pretty patterns of scrapbook paper. There are so many fun, cheap decorating projects that even the kids can help me with! The last picture is a display in the girls' room, "clipboards" made from plexiglass with pretty paper showing through from behind. I could have used actual clipboards but it was about 4 times cheaper this way!


Anonymous said...

Hi Charissa,
As fosterparents for 10 years, we bought a bunch of white 1 or 2 inch notebooks and the clear paper inserts ( not certain what they are called, but the are clear and you insert papers in them), we buy scrap book paper when on sale and different sticker's for scrapbooking and print off the kids pictures and family time pictures and friends or pets and attach them and insert them...we also buy letters and some theme stickers to identify their book, the kids also add their awards and drawings to the book...We have had many compliments on their books...the kids help out and when all is quiet, we re-straighten them..hope this helps and it is a cheap way to do this, ( the note bookes we buy are white and have a clear plastic pocket in the front..useally about a dollar at WalMart.

Anonymous said...

sorry about the missed spelled word..jacki

Charissa said...

That is great! Is there any way you might send me a photo?

The Monroe 6 said...

You have a heart of gold.
I wish you lived next door! :)
What a great idea to do for your foster kids. I am sure they will appreciate it so much.

Oma Roberta said...

You can buy rolls of out of stock wall paper for cheap which can be used for background paper. Or better yet, see if a store will donate their old sample books for your projects. Some older uphostery books also, if the material is not too heavy, will work for background.
Maybe your kids can make a sort of diary or journal for the kids and it would be cute to get their input for further foster parents. You are a great foster mom already!

Molly said...

Oh man. I love you and I don't know you...but your heart is incredible. I am the same way about my kids and scrap booking. I only slide pictures in and am doing good to do just that. But they have a TON of pictures of them. Love Jacki's idea and that's a great way to keep cost down and let the kids help.

Love the stuff you made for the girls' wall...that's fabulous! I am afraid I need step by step pictures of how you did that!

Larsen Family said...

The binder idea from Jacki sounds great. I know you can get a package of the plastic inserts from office depot, etc. I have gotten them in pkgs of 100. Not sure of price, but that would hold you for awhile. Neat ideas. I started to scrapbook when Corinne was around 4, did it for a few months then quit. I love the idea of it, I just don't have the time or extra $ to do it the way I would want. Good luck.

Geraldine said...

My suggestion would be to buy a scrapbooking program for the computer (I paid $40 for mine) There are a lot of readymade pages on my program so that it just takes minutes to make a page, although you certainly could spend a lot more time if you want to. You can print out as many copies of each page as you want, if you want to make a copy for your own album, or if there are several kids on your page, you can print one for each kid. One advantage is that you have no mess (from all the paper and stickers, etc. laying around.) It will probably be cheaper (if you like to use expensive paper or a lot of embellishments) Another bonus is that if you don't like your page, you can delete or change to your heart's content and don't have to waste any supplies while doing so. You can make your pictures smaller or bigger to fit whatever you want it to fit. I have 9 kids and just "discovered" digital scrapbooking last summer, and I'll never go back to the old way of doing my pictures.

Tracie said...

I cheat. I do digital scrap booking. Then I have the pages printed at UPS. I mount the pages and put them in a nice scrap book album and add a few of the the 3D stick ons that coordinate to give them a bit more flair.

Cammie Heflin said...

I love the wall decorations! I may just have to copy that for the boys' rooms, I'm in the midst of redecorating them!

Jester 5 said...

Charissa --
This post is so much fun for me. I LOVE to scrapbook (probably to the point of driving my husband crazy). There are several ideas I have and will try to get you an email out tonight after the kids go to bed.

Jaime said...

Hi Charissa,
I don't know if we have actually met before! I am Tyler Rovenstine's wife (son of Allen, son of Wendell!)

Anyhow, I am a photographer and there are a few good websites I have used to make books of my digital photography. The books allow you to include captions, or even pages of text if you want. I have used My Publisher as well as Blurb. You pretty much just choose the layouts and insert your pictures/text. They printing quality is great and the hard bound books last a long time. They make great coffee table books.

Here is a book you can view:

Good luck!

Jester 5 said...

okay, I just looked at the "clipboards" again. . .how did you make them? and how did you attach them to the wall? This looks perfect of B's room so she could hang all her artwork. Please do tell!

Charissa said...

On the "clipboards"....I went to Lowe's and asked the plexiglass guy to cut one big sheet into 8 "clipboard sized" pieces. My friend Nancy (love her!) drilled holes in the top of each one. Then we attached a magnetic clip (we popped the magnets out first) through the hole using a nail to hang them. The paper is just cut to size and stuck to the back using a little bit of two sided tape. Super easy and cute! By the way, the paper was part of a package of coordinating patterns making it easier for me to guess what might go together. :) Happy decorating!

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